HOUSTON, TX – The George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations agreed to accept $5 million from a group with ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s U.S. propaganda and influence efforts, according to a report by Axios.
ICYMI over the weekend: the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations is getting millions from a Beijing-linked group that works to boost the PRC's image in the US https://t.co/6SX6H0BghP
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) June 7, 2021
The George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations was founded by the brother of the late president, Neil Bush. Its mission is to build “constructive relationships” between the two countries.
Axios has uncovered a written agreement between China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) and The George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations, also called the Bush China Foundation.
The agreement spells out the terms of a five-year agreement for the Bush China Foundation to accept $5 million from CUSEF, long held by the U.S. intelligence community as a key part of the Communist leadership’s propaganda efforts, including efforts to influence the U.S. mainland.
2/ Why it matters: As tensions escalate between the U.S. and China, leaders with the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations have sounded off for closer ties — and while criticizing Beijing in some cases, have toed China's line on some major geopolitical issues.
— Indo-Pacific News – Watching the CCP-China Threat (@IndoPac_Info) June 5, 2021
Signed by Audie Wong, executive director of CUSEF, and addressed to David Firestein, President and CEO of the Bush China Foundation, the letter opens:
“We are pleased to inform you that the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) has approved a five-year arrangement with the George H.W. Bush China Foundation) for the period of April 1, 2019, through December 31, 2023. The CUSEF commits to a five-year grant program in the sum of $5 million, distributed in equal installments of $1 million each year.”
The agreement specifies that the funds were support for the founding of the Bush China Foundation.
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In exchange for millions of dollars in funds, the Bush China Group would work with CUSEF to advance bilateral relations:
“In cooperation with CUSEF, the Bush China Foundation, pursuant to its own mission, will seek to advance U.S.-China relations in ways that reflect the ethos and values of President George H.W. Bush by working and advocating for a bilateral relationship that is functional, constructive, commercially robust, mutually beneficial, and politically sustainable.”
#CCP-linked group China-United States Exchange Foundation (#CUSEF) granted $5 million to a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Bush family in September 2019.
Finally we realise where the sudden endorsement came from. https://t.co/Q6usD38akD pic.twitter.com/hhnGN7ejkt
— Nikki😷 (@nikki_miumiu) June 5, 2021
The CUSEF recognizes that U.S.-China relations may improve and deteriorate over time and keeps the Bush China Group on a leash.
Under the agreement, the Bush China Foundation must obtain approval for any programs from the Chinese group eight weeks before the start of each new year, and report back to the propaganda machine within eight weeks following any program:
“CUSEF understands that program design for the activities of the Bush China Foundation for each year may vary with the need and condition of the U.S.- China relationship at the time…
“The Bush China Foundation will use reasonable efforts to present a program plan no later than eight weeks before the beginning of each calendar year for CUSEF’s review…
“It will also use reasonable efforts to furnish a report within eight weeks after the close of each of the five years in order for both parties to evaluate achievements and shortfalls.”
Neil Bush, son of 41, brother of 43, literally on CCP’s payroll. Chair of Bush Foundation. His father Bush 41 was a hell of a sinophile, nicknamed”old friend of the Chinese people”in China. The Bush dynasty was essentially a Chinese proxy. https://t.co/7p98S43Hl3 pic.twitter.com/m6JL63jNAK
— Manju Baturu (@Xongkuro) June 5, 2021
The agreement requires CUSEF’s approval of the annual reports for the issuance of the next year’s $1 million in funding.
The letter closes with the signatures of both Wong and Firestein, showing that the contract was agreed to by both entities and in full effect.
Bush China Foundation spokesperson Leslie Reagan confirmed the authenticity of the agreement but denied CUSEF has any control or influence over its policy work.
“We are proud of our partnership with CUSEF and deeply appreciative of CUSEF’s generous support.
“T)he Bush China Foundation has staked out a very strong independent posture on virtually all of the major issues in the U.S.-China relationship; in the process, we have frequently leveled sharp criticism of Chinese policies and actions when we believe that has been merited.”
Reagan went on to say that the U.S. intelligence community is incorrect in its assessment of CUSEF as a propaganda arm of the Chinese regime:
“Knowing CUSEF as we do, we do not buy into that narrative. CUSEF has never sought to influence our editorial positions or encroach on our editorial independence.”
The China's CCP Money Behind the Filthy Bush Foundationhttps://t.co/JBh0pIMSXm
— A Safe Place for Rational Thinking (@aspfrt) June 7, 2021
Although the agreement did state that the grant does not require the Bush China Group to support any stance on issues, the review process for continued funding can be viewed as just that.
The Jamestown Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative defense policy think tank, called the CUSEF a “major player in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s organizational apparatus for conducting united front work in the United States.
The Jamestown Foundation wrote:
“CUSEF’s controversial funding for U.S. research and academic institutions is only the tip of the iceberg in a much larger, multi-faceted effort to exert influence over U.S. policy.
Arguably one of the most impactful—and least noted—lines of effort is CUSEF’s behind-the-scenes role as a sponsor of lobbying activities directed at the U.S. Congress, elite opinion, and state and local officials.”
Jamestown pointed out that CUSEF Chairman Tung Chee-Hwa is a former Chief Executive of Hong Kong and a current Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Multiple other officers in CUSEF belong to other organizations in the control of the Chinese government.
Euhwa Tran, chief program officer and chief of staff at the Bush China Foundation, authored an opinion article in @Diplomat_APAC entitled, "The US Should Restore its Fulbright and Peace Corps Programs in China." Read more here: https://t.co/qIPruJgdr6 #Fulbright #PeaceCorps
— Bush China Foundation (@GHWBushChina) May 7, 2021
The think tank called CUSEF’s connections to the CCP’s United Front Work Department is a secret “hiding in plain sight.”
The agreement between CUSEF and the Bush China Group is only one of several companies doing business with China during a time of heightened strain in U.S.-China relations. Other companies working with China include Disney, the NBA, Proctor & Gamble, and Coca-Cola.
This week's Fellows Spotlight is @yawei_liu1960, Director of the China Program at the @CarterCenter. Dr. Liu is also associate director of the @_chinacenter in Atlanta and an adjunct professor of political science at @EmoryUniversity! pic.twitter.com/SQluEUun66
— Bush China Foundation (@GHWBushChina) May 20, 2021
Rep. Mike Walz (R-FL) has introduced a bill in Congress trying to ban American companies from sponsoring the 2022 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Beijing.
The Representative said:
“By financially supporting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, both American and other global corporations are complicit in whitewashing the ongoing genocide against Chinese ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang region, repression against their own people, the attempted coverup of the COVID-19 pandemic, media censorship, the repression of democratic rights in Hong Kong and Tibet, and threats against the free democracy in Taiwan.”
The Bush China Group has not responded to media requests for comment.
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